Roche (OTCMKTS: RHHBY), a Swiss multinational healthcare company’s arthritis drug, tocilizumab, was found to reduce death in hospitalized patients with severe Covid-19. According to researchers at the University of Oxford, when combined with a steroid known as dexamethasone, the arthritis drug was more effective.
“Used in combination, the impact is substantial,” said Landray, who is also an Oxford professor of medicine and epidemiology.
The study is a component of the Recovery trial, which has tested several potential treatments for Covid-19 since March of 2020. Researchers discovered that tocilizumab reduced recovery time as well as the need for ventilator’s.
The Recovery trial discovered that the affordable and readily available steroid dexamethasone was effective against severe Covid-19 cases in June of 2020. Since, the drug has become a part of standard care recommended for ill patients.
“Previous trials of tocilizumab had shown mixed results, and it was unclear which patients might benefit from the treatment,” Peter Horby, a professor at the University of Oxford and joint chief investigator for the Recovery trial, said in a statement. “We now know that the benefits of tocilizumab extend to all COVID patients with low oxygen levels and significant inflammation.”
In the study 2,022 patients were chosen to receive tocilizumab, commonly known as Actemra, by intravenous infusion. The patients were compared to the 2,094 people picked to only undergo standard care. Researchers stated that 82% of patients were simultaneously taking a steroid like dexamethasone.
As the trial continues, it is now investigating aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs baricitinib and colchicine as well as Regeneron’s antibody cocktail.